March 12, 2018
Lots of women are coming to running later in life. Maybe it is because they have more time for themselves, maybe it’s because running for this group has become more visible in the last few years, who knows. So even if magazines and sports brands continue to post photos of slim and young women, we know that runners are a much more diverse bunch than that. Which is why in the month of March we have a Too Fat To Run? Blog Take Over and kicking us off this week is our guest blogger Marian Stanley talking about the three things that surprised her most about running.
Hi, My name is Marian, I live in Kippax – West Yorkshire and started running in spring 2013 with the plan to run a 10k the following year as part of my 50th bucket list. I ended up doing 4 10km runs in 2014 along with goodness knows how many parkruns. Last year I got my 100 parkrun T-shirt and my 25 Volunteer shirt as well. I am not currently training for anything specific but want to try and do 1000km running in 2018 – (150 done – 850 to go)
1 People think of me as a runner.
There are some people who think I’m just overweight and inactive and yet there are others who actually call me a runner and an athlete.
My story is similar to lots of overweight or large ladies of a certain age – you go to the doctors for a check-up and a large inactive nurse tells you the obvious – oh you need to lose weight and exercise more – well at that time I was running (or shuffling) 4 times a week up to 5km each time & doing boot-camp twice a week so I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to do more exercise – then she took my blood pressure – oh that’s strange she says – you are might be Fat (thanks lady!) but you do appear to be fit.
So I decided to prove the Nurse right and started actually running rather than shuffling on my morning runs – and the 2 girls that convinced me I could run who used to do loops so that they got in 8 – 10 km to my 5 were shocked when they ran with me after a few months of not running together for various reasons that they were having to shorten their loops and speed their runs up and they were only getting in 6 – 8km instead. It was them that started to call me a runner and a lady at parkrun when I was having a particularly bad day told me I was an elite athlete as I was out running at 9am in the morning when a lot of normal people were still tucked up in bed.
2 I am an inspiration to others
Having got it into my own head that I am a runner, I started talking about running in the office to other people and told them if I can run then anyone can – I’m not exactly built to run (getting the kit to be able to get out there and run has been another problem but I’ll keep that for another post!) and I didn’t think I could do it.
Working with some ‘real runners’ it was quite interesting to hear them talk about the effort and time I put in to be able to do 5km or 10km and how inspirational it is – yeah yeah – but this really hit home when I was on a training course about resilience and the tutor was asking people to describe someone who was resilient and inspirational to them – the group when round the usual famous people and then someone asked her – not sure if she knew I was in the group as I’d not spoken to her when I went on but she said a lady who used to be in the same team as her – she said I was an inspiration to her because of my positivity and the fact that although I didn’t look like the normal runner I was resilient enough to put myself through running over 1000km in the previous year – just because I could and that because of this she had started running and had completed her 1st 10km because she saw me signing up for it and thought if Marian can do it then so can I.
Warm fuzzy feeling and extreme embarrassment as others in the group knew she was talking about me – she was a little embarrassed as well when she realised I was sat there.
3 People think of me as a coach
Having been pulled out as an inspiration one of my colleagues at work asked me to help her run and be able to complete the dreaded ‘Shuttle Run’ so that she could become an International Referee within Taekwondo, she like me is well built and although I know she has the stamina to be able to referee for several hours both in the centre and on the corners of a Taekwondo arena would she be able to get to the required fitness to do the required level of the Shuttle run having not run for decades.
She could have done this with someone qualified as a coach, who is much fitter and younger than me so why did she chose me over this other person? I asked her the same question – her answer – well you are a great role model and the same shape as me – again that quote “if you can do it then so can I – oh and I know you will push me and not complain when I swear and call you names – unlike the other person!”
So how did she do – well it’s still early days – we only started in January and she has picked up an injury while refereeing so we are not running at the moment but since our 1strun / walk of 3km where more than half was walking (34.27) we have taken 3mins of the route and she is now running and walking about the same amount – I have also told her to ditch the negative comment – “Oh god that was so slow” and start thinking like a runner – “oh well that’s 3k done today and although we were steady we were faster than those sat in traffic!”
I think I’ve convinced her to enter a 10k run in November so that she has got something to aim for – that’s what the girls did to me (oh no that’s not quite right – they actually paid for my entry as a birthday present so I had to do it!)
Love this post from Marian as it’s a view we don’t always get to hear.
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